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Error "Could Not Open a Connection" When Refreshing Extract on Tableau Online


Published: 09 May 2016
Last Modified Date: 17 Jul 2018

Issue

In Tableau Online, when refreshing a workbook with embedded data sources, or when refreshing a published data source, the refresh may fail with the following error:

Error: com.tableausoftware.nativeapi.dll.DataSourceException: [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 11.0]Named Pipes Provider: Could not open a connection to SQL Server [53] [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 11.0]Login timeout expired [Microsoft][SQL Server Native Client 11.0]A network-related or instance-specific error has occurred while establishing a connection to SQL Server. Server is not found or not accessible. Check if instance name is correct and if SQL Server is configured to allow remote connections. For more information see SQL Server Books Online. Unable to connect to the server "<SERVER NAME>". Check that the server is running and that you have access privileges to the requested database.

Environment

  • Tableau Online
  • Data source hosted on-premises or otherwise not available in the public cloud

Resolution


For workbooks with embedded data sources
  1. Publish each data source separately from the workbook. See Publish Data Sources and Workbooks.
  2. After publishing, navigate to the content page for each data source on Tableau Online. Click on the Refresh Schedules tab.
  3. On the right side of the page, click the button labeled "Refresh this extract on...".
  4. Choose "A computer on my network..." and select the machine where Tableau Bridge is installed. If Tableau Bridge has not been set up for this site yet, see Expand Data Freshness Options by Using Tableau Bridge to get started.
For published data sources
  1. Navigate to the content page for each data source on Tableau Online. Click on the Refresh Schedules tab.
  2. On the right side of the page, click the button labeled "Refresh this extract on...".
  3. Choose "A computer on my network..." and select the machine where Tableau Bridge is installed. If Tableau Bridge has not been set up for this site yet, see Expand Data Freshness Options by Using Tableau Bridge to get started.

Cause

The extract was set to refresh using Tableau Online's refresh processes rather than Tableau Bridge. The Tableau Online servers do not have access to the source database in order to perform the refresh.
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